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Help Me Call Me Out (E-Wang Question)

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Help Me Call Me Out (E-Wang Question)

Old 04-25-09, 03:49 PM
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Nate552
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Help Me Call Me Out (E-Wang Question)

I've been training with a PT for 3 weeks now and have pretty much filled in my power profile. My FTP is 218 putting me at 3.80 / kg. I'm a cat 4 and have never won a race and have always used my power as an excuse. "I don't put out enough power to win a sprint", "No way can I solo the last km, I could never hold it." etc. Obviously I have some serious work to do, and that's why I got a PT, but has anyone had any success in Cat 4's with an E-Wang similar to mine? So is my power truly holding me back? Or do I need to HTFU and quite making excuses? And yes I know this chart is only for theoretical purposes, I'm just curious.

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Old 04-25-09, 04:12 PM
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The e-wang chart has *very* little to do with your race results. Racing is ALL about how you conserve your energy, not how much energy or power you have. Someone with 30% less power than you could easily beat you if they raced more intelligently than you.

That said you do have a nice base. If you start racing more intelligently you could very easily win races every weekend. But it's easier said than done and it comes with experience. After each race, write down what happened and how the race winner actually won. If possible look at pictures or videos of the final sprint to see what you did wrong. With those number I'd say if you were in the top 3 going into the last corner, you have a great shot at winning a crit.
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Old 04-25-09, 04:37 PM
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I assume you mean 318W FTP, not 218? Or are you really 125lbs?

Assuming the former, you should be able to win a sprint in the 4's, give good position and tactics. But if you want to start winning sprint finishes consistently, get on a team that's willing to sacrifice upgrade points in favor of team tactics. Having a good leadout is essential to winning sprints on any sort of consistent basis.

About the ewang chart. It's a composite chart made up of a lot of people of different skillsets. Sprinters in the 3's will have "cat2 power" in the 5s range, but might only have "cat4 power" in the FTP range. Vice verse for climbers. There are lots of different types of races, and lots of ways of winning a race, making this chart kind of useless as a predictor of results. All it can tell you is where your individual strengths lie.
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Old 04-25-09, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
The e-wang chart has *very* little to do with your race results. Racing is ALL about how you conserve your energy, not how much energy or power you have. Someone with 30% less power than you could easily beat you if they raced more intelligently than you.

You're absolutely right, and I need to put myself in better positions to win. I think in the past I have not always done that because I thought "I don't belong at 3 wheel in this corner because you can't sprint." Thanks for your input Cedric



Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
I assume you mean 318W FTP, not 218? Or are you really 125lbs?

About the ewang chart. It's a composite chart made up of a lot of people of different skillsets. Sprinters in the 3's will have "cat2 power" in the 5s range, but might only have "cat4 power" in the FTP range. Vice verse for climbers. There are lots of different types of races, and lots of ways of winning a race, making this chart kind of useless as a predictor of results. All it can tell you is where your individual strengths lie.
126 lbs here. I figured that was the case when it comes to sprinting, I actually consider myself a climber due to my size. And you're right, about the e-wang. Thanks Brian.
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Old 04-25-09, 05:25 PM
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Am I right in saying you weigh about 125-130 lbs?

If so, your max would be about 950 watts. Maybe 1000-1100 for peak power.

Based on that, I'd say that winning a summer race would be tough - you'd need things to fall into place. Knowing some of the wattages put out by Cat 4s and 5s in sprints, you'll need to be in the 1200w peak range in a race or 1500w peak in training (i.e. fresh for the sprint, with time to prep for the actual jump).

However, if you have a situation where such riders are not in contention (dropped, didn't race, after July so most of the strong guys have upgraded, whatever) then you'll be much better off.

Another situation would involve a short sprint where you need to accelerate up a hill, perhaps after a sharp turn. If you can get through such a turn in the first few riders, slow down little or not at all, it'll be hard for anyone to get around the same turn more than a few guys behind you and accelerate enough to pass you.

To give you an idea of my power status, my best ever numbers are 3.5 w/kg for 20 min (new record as of last week), 3.7 w/kg for 5 min, 7.2 w/kg for 1 min, and 18.7 w/kg for 5 seconds. I'm a long-time Cat 3, specialize in sprinting (i.e. I suck at climbing and tt'ing), can win field sprints or races on particular courses, get dropped by non-racers on hills on a Mon/Wed group ride, and I race about as smart as I can (i.e. I'm a good wheelsucker). Your numbers beat me in all except the sprint, and I don't know what your peak is except for my guess of your top power number.

In 6 races this year, I've gotten 1st, 3rd, and 4th in races I tried to win, and an 11th when leading out a friend. The other two races where I wanted to win or place, I blew in the sprint (placed worse than 20th) and in another race I got dropped a lap into the race (technically I lasted three laps, but that was because I literally got really big pushes from various friends for two laps).

Interestingly this year my numbers have been down significantly for peak (1366 vs 1568), 1m (467 vs 567), and 5m (281 vs 317) numbers.

I should point out that I don't have that many races so far. This is significant because all my above numbers came from races except the 20 min one and the peak one. Races motivate me to go maybe 20-25% harder than my training, based on the wattage I see.

cdr

*edit* it took me a bit of time to write this post, and I didn't see the two posts above this one before I responded.

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Old 04-25-09, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Nate552 View Post
And yes I know this chart is only for theoretical purposes, I'm just curious.
Read this http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articl...profiling.aspx

Twice.

Then note this from the opening paragraph, "If, however, valid standards were available for power across different durations that represented different physiological characteristics or abilities, then it would be possible to identify a particular individual's relative strengths and weaknesses based on their "power profile". In such an analysis, the primary comparison would therefore be the rider against themselves, and not (directly) against others."

Now ask yourself if you believe your anaerobic capacity truly lags behind other aspects of your fitness and if this is something you should do something about.
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Old 04-25-09, 05:48 PM
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Wow, thanks for the great info cdr. And you're pretty close to my max, which so far is 1020 watts. Which I don't figure to be enough to win a sprint outright. So what should I work on? A kilo attack? Bigger sprint numbers? higher FTP?
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Old 04-25-09, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Now ask yourself if you believe your anaerobic capacity truly lags behind other aspects of your fitness and if this is something you should do something about.
I think so, I've only been training with a PT for 3 weeks so I'm still trying to identify my weaknesses, but I'm fairly confident my anaerobic capacity causes me issues in races. Thanks Asgelle.
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Old 04-25-09, 07:27 PM
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The ~kilo attack, if committed will throw them off. I recall one other lightweight climber-built BFer winning a race off a kilo attack...

The 4s are not going to follow a REAL attack from 800m... at least not immediately. You explode from 5 places back, accelerate like a maniac, and get the gap. By the time the figure out they should chase you, you only have 200m to go. You have to go all-out from the first pedal stroke though.
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Old 04-25-09, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
The ~kilo attack, if committed will throw them off. I recall one other lightweight climber-built BFer winning a race off a kilo attack...

The 4s are not going to follow a REAL attack from 800m... at least not immediately. You explode from 5 places back, accelerate like a maniac, and get the gap. By the time the figure out they should chase you, you only have 200m to go. You have to go all-out from the first pedal stroke though.
I'm gonna try that, but do I have the "power" to pull that off?
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Old 04-25-09, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Nate552 View Post
I'm gonna try that, but do I have the "power" to pull that off?
Probably. I'm similar build and sprint, (higher FTP tho) and have managed to podium in races. Besides, testing numbers don't translate well to racing number, IMO. It's not like you go out and do the sprint with fresh legs.
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Old 04-25-09, 09:05 PM
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Yeah, I think that you'd be surprised how much an unexpected maximal effort from that distance turns a moment of hesitation into a 50m victory.
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Old 04-25-09, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
The ~kilo attack, if committed will throw them off. I recall one other lightweight climber-built BFer winning a race off a kilo attack...
moi?

Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
The 4s are not going to follow a REAL attack from 800m... at least not immediately. You explode from 5 places back, accelerate like a maniac, and get the gap. By the time the figure out they should chase you, you only have 200m to go. You have to go all-out from the first pedal stroke though.
Yeah, that's pretty much how it went.

Originally Posted by Nate552 View Post
I'm gonna try that, but do I have the "power" to pull that off?
Well, the power profile is funny. It's hard to get a good 1" test so it may just be underrepresented, and not actually that [relatively] weak. It took me a while to get my 1' to even show up on that chart because I was doing a lot of long rides and no short intervals or tests. During the period where I won my race with the kilo attack I had tested at 8.63 w/kg but in the race my winning 1' power was only 7.1 w/kg. So you don't need a lot, you just need to be committed.

Even still my 1' is much lower than my 5' which is my strongest by far at 5.67 w/kg (although I haven't tested recently and have only done 5.23 w/kg in a race recently), but the trouble with trying to capitalize on 5' power is that it's not enough to "ride away" from everyone on because the strong FT guys will outlast you and everyone will chase you down right away anyway. Although I have found it works well for punchy rollers/power climbs which I've found to be my ideal course type.
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Old 04-25-09, 09:34 PM
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Also, it's been said but it bears repeating. It's not the point of that chart to look up your power on it and say "I should be a cat x". Coggan has said that he didn't want to put labels on it but was pressured to do so. Basically they took world-class "bests" in each duration and anchored the bottoms (I don't remember what they were based on), and then spread the numbers out evenly. There is no basis in reality for the various "cat" levels and it certainly doesn't follow that most people in any given cat are in that band. Notice that it really only says "good", "excellent", etc. and has "e.g. cat x".
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Old 04-25-09, 09:45 PM
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I am also a cat 4 and your numbers own mine. I'd love to have those kind of w/kg numbers.

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Old 04-25-09, 09:52 PM
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Since we are "showing ours", here is what mine looked like at the time of that race. The green boxes are actuals and the red box was my theoretical FTP extrapolated from testing using the Monod critical power model.



Also for what it's worth, two of the guys in the race killed me in the TT (it was a stage race). Speaking with one later he said he had an FTP of 350W @ 73kg (4.8 w/kg). He finally just got his upgrade points by TTing off the front of a crit last weekend as I believe nearly lapping the field
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Old 04-26-09, 04:23 AM
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Thanks for the input guys!
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Old 04-26-09, 01:52 PM
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For the OP -

First off, I think it'll take you a few months to plateau your numbers for the year, based both on your experience racing as well as your experience with the PT. You'll figure out ways to test better (which, other than testing better, doesn't mean anything), you'll make efforts under extreme duress in races (and hit some "real" new max numbers), etc etc.

Testing is one thing - tactics is another. Leonard Nitz was one rider notorious for testing poorly, yet he raced very well, even in events that measured only physical performance and not tactics (like the kilo).

Therefore, if I were your coach, I'd assume that your numbers for now are probably 80-90% of what you'll eventually hit this year. I'm just guessing this, I have no proof of this.

I'm basing this on my experience. For example, my first best 20 min number was 211w (2 years ago), and this was after 25? years of racing. Within a few months I'd gotten it up to 238w. A year later I hit 268w. I don't think I'm stronger, but I gave up less easily, I knew how to gauge my efforts better, etc. Similarly, I first hit 13xx watts for a max, hit the mid 1400s a few months later, and finally, at the end of the summer, broke 1500. Next spring I hit 156x twice in a few days. I never really sprinted any faster, but I could optimize the reading on the powermeter (PT and SRM).

Anyway, my guess, without knowing your competition's inclinations, is that it'll be hard to do a flyer at the end of a regular race. Again, if things fall in place, it may work, but it'll take more than a generic flyer of the front of 70 or 90 guys in a field. Figure out how many watts it takes for you to sustain, say, 28-30 mph. You'll need to hold that for 1-1.5 minutes, maybe 2-2.5 minutes. You'll need to initiate that effort with an impressive attack, one that should exceed 1100-1200 watts. I use that number because those are the numbers I hit in the last lap of a race just to maintain position in the field.

Having been at your weight, a long, long time ago, I tried to use it to my advantage. Skinny small guys are impossible to draft, yet get huge protection when on almost anyone else's wheel. Think of ways to utilize your size and weight to your advantage.

For example, you'll find it easier to accelerate up a steep hill compared to a heavier rider. So it may be to your benefit to keep the pace slow on a hill, then accelerate when riders are forced to slow to your pace.

Similarly, you may find yourself in a situation where you can use your weight/size to save energy for yourself, make others expend it. Perhaps it means sitting in the field in a crit with a short steep hill. Any time that the pace eases going into the hill, attack if you can, make the others burn big matches to stay with you.

Team up with, or select, a smaller rider, your size, who you can work with, trading weeks or events so each of you can be the "leader" on different days. A leadout by smaller riders is hard to follow for taller, more powerful riders. Likewise, the two of you can alternate working over the field, using pace changes and such on terrain that favors you.

In the end, I don't think there's one specific way you should approach your races, one overwhelming strategy. For me it's clear because I am so bad at everything except sprinting, and I am experienced tactically (so field sprinting becomes a viable option). You have less options in a field sprint, but you could make life awfully hard for some of the other riders to tilt things in your favor.

cdr
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Old 04-26-09, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
moi?

Oui
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Old 04-26-09, 02:48 PM
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Upon further reflection, it doesn't seem likely that both your (Nate) and Joe's profiles are complete. I.e. you shouldn't be able to have a high sprint and FT but low intermediate durations. It's not one of the 4 profiles: sprinter, all arounder, pursuiter, or time trialist. The all arounder is flat with no peaks but the other profile all have a single peak, it's just a matter of what duration you peak at. You may both be all-arounders that haven't learned how to "suffer" yet for those shorter durations, as it is a special kind of pain.
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Old 04-26-09, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
haven't learned how to "suffer" yet for those shorter durations, as it is a special kind of pain.
plus ONE.

The 3' CP test showed me that a lot of people are new to the world of the real 1' test. It's interesting, as this may be a spread to a change in amateur racing as more and more people get a feel for what this effort is and how "easily" you can win a lower-cat race with it. Once there are two or three guys trying this with every pack finish, we'll actually get back to figuring out who the sprinters are again, as they use it as a leadout train.
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Old 04-26-09, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
plus ONE.

The 3' CP test showed me that a lot of people are new to the world of the real 1' test. It's interesting, as this may be a spread to a change in amateur racing as more and more people get a feel for what this effort is and how "easily" you can win a lower-cat race with it. Once there are two or three guys trying this with every pack finish, we'll actually get back to figuring out who the sprinters are again, as they use it as a leadout train.
I agree. In fact, I'd likely have a new PB 1 minute today but my PT started reading very low. I was able to really push it harder than previously. Sounds like it's time for a call to Saris.
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Old 04-26-09, 07:27 PM
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Great info guys. I'll admit, my 1 min is probably a little low, as I did my first 1 min test on the last day of my 3 week training block, after a day of some 5 X 5 at threshold and a climb up our local "hill" (11 %). One thing that bothers me is that even in our training rides, I can't put in an attack that others can't follow. I need to get some separation if this is going to work.
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Old 04-26-09, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SushiJoe View Post
I agree. In fact, I'd likely have a new PB 1 minute today but my PT started reading very low. I was able to really push it harder than previously. Sounds like it's time for a call to Saris.
Bummer man. Wireless?
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Old 04-26-09, 07:47 PM
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Wired. I was cruising along at 20 mph and 162 watts. My recovery zone is < 150 watts.
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